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Letter to the editor: Senior housing proposal: breaking down the proposed variances

Editor:

In regards to the senior housing proposal for the village of Hamburg. Do we want senior housing in our village? Absolutely! However, there is much more to this issue everyone needs to know. I have been to every village meeting pertaining to this issue and heard every presentation, from the developer to the village mayor, board of trustees, zoning board, planning commission, read the site plan and have listened to insight of a few hundred fellow villagers. We are all for this type of project, however, many people are just learning about the jaw-dropping variances requested from the developer.

Many villagers are already concerned about this topic, since the new veterinarian hospital went up. No doubt, the vet building will be a good-looking building, however, the positioning to adjacent houses has many concerned. Importantly, to my knowledge, not one variance was used in the vet building. Variances like these aren’t normal, and yes, they are a “big deal.” Our village attorney stated he can’t remember of variance ever being approved just on the matter of size. With that said, here’s a list of the current variances needed from the senior housing developer.

No. 1 variance, size: Per code, this lot deems nothing bigger than 6,000 square feet building. The developer wants to build 31,080 square feet building that is 41 feet high, approximately 162-foot long and 80-foot wide. This is over five times larger than is allowed by law. Without saying, this is proposed in/by our historic district “Grand Entrance.”

No 2 variance, parking: This housing complex project deems 60 parking lots per code. Developer says they don’t need that many parking spaces. They can’t fit anymore anyhow, since a little more than half the allotted lots will fit in the space provided. If they’re wrong, where are people going to park in the winter, when there is no on-street parking?

No 3. variance, set back: Set back from Main Street should be 42’6” to align with our “Grand Entrance” into the village. The developer is requesting 12’3” Hmmmm .... The Veterinarian building?

No. 4 variance, main entrance: They wish to build the main entrances facing East/West, so the side of the building will face toward Main Street. We guess, “Not-So-Grand an Entrance”?

No 5 variance, landscape requirement: There should be 20’ of landscape requirement adjacent to all residential homes. The developer wants to forgo this and lay a parking lot almost to the fence line. Really? They want a five times bigger building than code dictates and they don’t want to give a landscape buffer?

No. 6 variance, side setback: Per code, there should be 6-foot setback for this area and they’re requesting 5-foot setback. This is being crammed in a lot it doesn’t belong!

Jason Wujek
Hamburg


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